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SeaSight - Situational Awareness and Collision Avoidance

Maritime Robotics' new Situational Awareness (SA) and Collision Avoidance (COLAV) system increases safety and remote capabilities with LiDAR, Radar and AIS along with multiple high definition cameras providing full 360° coverage.

Posted by:
Vera Susanne

November 22nd, 2022

There's an Otter USV with the SeaSight add-on in Trondheim's harbour.

Runar Olsen, Product Manager for the Otter and Otter X USVs (Uncrewed Surface Vehicles) explains the importance of Situational Awareness and Collision Detection in the development of uncrewed systems.

The Maritime Robotics Autonomy Onboard software is already world-leading – The additional SA capacity provided by SeaSight is the natural next step in this evolution.
- Runar Olsen, Product Manager

The SeaSight functions as an aiding system for the operator, improving safety and real time situational awareness. When Collision Avoidance is activated, the uncrewed vessel will avoid anything that might be at risk of interfering with the operation. This can be land, docks, vessels, buoys, animals, sea plants or other objects that are detected. If the uncrewed vessel is unable to locate a safe passage to the requested location, it will automatically enter Station Mode and await operator instructions.

SeaSight features multiple low light, high definition cameras that are stitched together to give the operator an exceptional overview of the surroundings. On larger vessels we also utilize thermal (IR) cameras for visibility in low- and no-light conditions.

In addition to the camera based SA functionality, SeaSight incorporates active sensors such as LiDAR and AIS. The 360° scanning LiDAR sensor used by SeaSight is primarily used in the advanced Collision Avoidance algorithm. The LiDAR sensor is also used to visually improve situational overview in poor visibility conditions.

The image above illustrates the SeaSight on the Maritime Robotics Otter USV. This is an actual screenshot of SeaSight with camera and LiDAR in action through the Maritime Robotics command and control software.

The Future of SeaSight

To maintain our position as a leading provider of innovative uncrewed solutions we are continuously searching for ways to develop these solutions even further. We have powerful computational hardware built into SeaSight that we plan to expand with Artificial Intelligence (AI) based processing of the image data. Specially trained Neural Networks will provide robust detection and classification of ships and other vessels as well as other navigation concerns.

The most advanced versions of SeaSight will also perform Sensor Fusion between the detected and tracked objects from video (daylight and thermal), LiDAR, Radar and AIS. These highly confident detections will be tracked and estimated over time giving the Maritime Robotics Autonomy Onboard engine a best possible Situational Awareness and understanding. The Autonomy Onboard engine will calculate the optimal USV behavior to navigate in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

The detections will be provided to the operator as information overlaying the video stream and/or map. Only the most important details are shown to the operator to avoid information overload. This enhances the situational understanding for the operator and also clearly shows how the USV is operating and the cause of any discrepancy compared to commanded behavior. The Collision Avoidance system can easily be enabled and tuned to the operation area.

For more information about SeaSight or Maritime Robotics please contact us through the “contact us” button or send us an email at [email protected].